Figuring out how to get a cat to take a pill can be a problematic and stressful scenario – for both pet and owner. However, giving a cat a pill doesn’t have to be an overwhelming or scary experience.
Here are a few tips to make giving a cat a pill a little easier.
1. Talk to Your Vet
Talking to your vet is essential when learning how to give a cat a pill. There are several important questions that you should ask your vet, including:
- Should the medication be given with food?
- Can the pill or capsule be crushed?
2. Hide the Pill in Wet Food
If the answer to the above questions is yes, try hiding your cat’s medication in a little bit of wet food, or crushing it up before adding it to wet food. Watch your cat closely to make sure that the pill is swallowed and not spit out.
Products for Cat Pills
If mixing a pill with food is unsuccessful, multiple products are available for giving a cat a pill. First, try treats specifically designed to hide the medication.
Greenies Pill Pockets
Conveniently shaped to hold pills, these are often the easiest way to give cats a pill. Simply put the medication into the specially designed pocket and give it to your cat. Of course, monitor your cat to ensure that the entire treat is ingested.
Pill Popper for Cats
If treats do not work, another option is a pill popper for cats. Designed explicitly for felines, this syringe-like device allows you to place the pill at the back of your cat’s tongue without putting your hands in their mouth. The Kruuse Buster Pet Pill Syringe is a popular choice.
Prepare the pill and pill popper beforehand, then gently restrain your cat on your lap. Place the syringe into your cat’s mouth and depress the plunger to administer the medication. It may take some practice, but is generally very effective once you get the hang of it.
Manually Administer the Pill
If all of these methods fail, the final option is to administer the medication manually. This process is easier with two people but can be done alone. The safest way to do this is to wrap your cat in a towel to be restrained and not wriggle free. Holding the cat gently yet firmly, use your free hand’s thumb and pointer finger to gently pry open your cat’s mouth (or have another person do this part).
Be sure to place the pill or tablet as far back on the cat’s tongue as possible. Afterward, hold the cat’s mouth shut for a few seconds and stroke his or her throat to help with swallowing. Lightly blowing on his or her nose can also encourage swallowing.
Ultimately, the best way to give a cat a pill will differ from cat to cat. There are a number of options for giving cats pills. You will need to experiment and find out what works best for you and your pet.